Another day, another accolade for Connor Bedard. Can’t help but make Chicago Blackhawks fans smile with a week to go before the draft.
Connor Bedard caps off his incredible junior season with the title of IIHF Male Player of the Year!
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) June 19, 2023
In the inaugural award for the International Ice Hockey Federation, Bedard was voted the IIHF’s Male Athlete of the Year, hardly surprising following his performance on the big stage during the World Junior Championships as well as his eye-popping stats in the Western Hockey League.
The 2022 version saw him dominate the world stage and put up points at a video game rate. Who did he top all-time with his 23 points in a single tournament?
Some guy named Jaromir Jagr.
Bedard Continues to Collect Awards Before June 28th Draft
This is hardly anything new. Bedard swept the CHL awards, a first for any junior hockey player. He blew everyone away at the NHL Scouting Combine. He continues to answer questions with humility while swatting away chances at questions that try to put the spotlight solely on him.
That spotlight, though, will follow him all the way to Nashville where he’ll be counted on to speed up rebuild in Chicago. Nothing is guaranteed, and certainly, general manager Kyle Davidson won’t be taking any shortcuts within the rebuild. He’ll absolutely be the foundational piece Chicago constructs around.
It just remains to be seen what pieces are placed around him. The Blackhawks will have 11 picks and it’s like that some of those are used to deal for players or prospects that can help maybe a bit quicker.
It’s expected that the rebuild will go at least another couple seasons but Davidson hasn’t offered up an exact timeline. Nor should he. Things being done correctly don’t always have a finite period.
It’s simply going about it the right away without cutting corners. It’ll not only take time, but patience.
But it’s a lot easier to be patient when a caliber of players like Connor Bedard–with all of his honors in tow–will soon be wearing the familiar Blackhawks sweater.